quando arriva viagra generico quiero usar viagra discount onlinepharmacy com zithromax zithromax cialis usage after experations date cheap viagra suppliers in glasgow how safe is pink viagra for girls generic prednisone 20 mg tablet ciprofloxacina farmaco generico ciproc 500 mg dosage for adults gonorhea can you use half a viagra pill viagra medicine information in hindi sildenafil 100mg tablets blueberry cialis urinary incontinence cialis takes long to take effect how to by viagra in korea 10 mg prednisone 15 days sinus infection not responding how many viagra in a prescription best way to use clomid farmacia online burrata viagra for sale 0 59 generico proscar finasteride 5mg for hair cialis from canadian online pharmacy no prescriptions diflucan without prescriptions sildenafil side effect tadalafil rowcmoadreders online viagra for women kgr 100 review baycuten n generico de cialis hydrochlorothiazide losartan generic viagra diflucan stays in body what is the name of female viagra recreational use viagra woman in blue generic online propecia does canada walmart sell viagra doxycycline 50 mg adalah use lasix to pass drug test can you take viagra into spain buy pfizer viagra uk second dose of clomid quantity liquid cialis brand name cialis and viagra albothyl solucion generico do viagra viagra generika kaufen preisvergleich erfahrungen mit cialis 10mg high dose lasix dove si trova in natura il sildenafil cialis e20 review best acne medicine other than accutane birth viagra 25 mg work roche pulls accutane off market glucophage 500 mg dermani ne prices of cialis 20mg 60 mg prednisone for five days sito sicuro per comprare cialis wat is generic cialis social anxiety medication zoloft reviews farmaco generico viagra now how do you get viagra uk is dapoxetine available in australia on the pbf generic cialis mexico pharmacy doxycycline hyclate 100mg tab mutual lasix emergency use indian viagra fucking acquisto viagra generico pagamento in contrassegno buy clomid post cycle therapy side marketing strategy for viagra amoxil 250 mg dosis apiretal monocef injection 500 mg metformin glucophage 1000 prix quanto costa viagra generico farmacia pharmacy where viagra is sold in manila rayh health care cialis generic cialis bathtubs meaning how long does diflucan 150 stay in your system fusidic acid cream over the counter uk viagra nolvadex prices in south africa ampicillin stock solution 100mg ml conversion zoloft in japan getting insurance to pay for generic viagra tubs in cialis tubs ciprofloxacino alter 500 mg precio inderal 40 mg biverkningar av antihormoner zoloft price costco comprar viagra en colombia comen sildenafil citrate medline india viagra without prescriptions in usa when will sildenafil be generic doxycycline dosage length viagra discounts senators cialis causa infertilidade u.s. viagra cost how to get viagra in a hurry dosage vibramycin cat liquid are finasteride sunrise tablets safe when should you take doxycycline viagra shops in newcastle noroxin o ciproxin red viagra price pakistan is prednisone a generic brand viagra buy in vancouver can cialis cause night sweats donde puedo comprar cheap cytotec en usa medicinenet zoloft generic propranolol contraindicated in hypothyroidism letrozole 5 mg and metformin viagra pills price uk stereotactische bestraling bijwerkingen doxycycline usa viagra 1000mg aurochem tadalafil at superdrug uk mechanism of action of cialis in bph order viagra 100mg online no prescription cialis 5 mg gratis prednisone dosage 50 mg price cheap cialis buy what is doxycycline hyc r in men viagra for sale in sydney prednisone 20 mg how big are the pills prednisone pack 10mg 5mg 3 mg1mg whats the difference between 1mg propecia and 5 mg is zofran safe to take with zoloft does doxycycline treat acne scars effexor vs zoloft reviews for teens consumer review propecia acne treatment accutane reviews and results how many times should someone take viagra in a day 500 mg metformin hcl 1000mg can i take two 50mg clomid order cytotec di surabaya true value solar positive reviews of zoloft cialis online basso prezzo nolvadex vs novedex xt pct viagra 50 mg lang doxycycline 75 mg acne bichunyuan cialis canada what is in cialis ingredients cialis buy cheap overnight price of zovirax 60 mg prednisone and nursing prednisone generic medrol unchecked cast generics for accutane prezzo cialis in farmacia italiana online ocupo receta para comprar cialis buy clomid in australia doxycycline in the future cialis pour femme canada the best time of day to take prednisone viagra de india prednisone online sale cialis online apotheke preisvergleich double dose of cialis daily glucophage online pharmacy uk long term finasteride metformin leaves a taste in my mouth best over counter viagra substitute viagra super p force ukc viagra cheap uk buy purchase avete usato priligy for sale diflucan 100 mg prix how to dose doxycycline is viagra safe to buy in canada how much cialis can you take donde puedo comprar cytotec misoprostol cialis online american can lasix cause loss of appetite compra cialis paypal how to use viagra tablets for men viagra canadian pharmacies viagra online rezeptfrei com taking doxycycline and spironolactone together staxyn and viagra ciprofloxacin xl 500mg harga obat zithromax 500mg price clomid 50 mg price australia order viagra now co uk finasteride in nepal viagra sold in us stores buy zovirax 10g tube where to find viagra in houston powered by smf 2.0 discount generic viagra soft tabs cipro logo registration cost vorrei comprare cialis ciprofloxacino 500 mg en espanol can a girl use viagra sildenafil 100 mg foro toronto viagra sale cialis kaufen paypal bezahlen copd specialist role in the hospital setting buy lasix tablets furesomide south africa online best age to take propecia cialis 100 mg 30 tablets necesito comprar viagra en chile existen cialis uk nhs ambulance how to get best results from cialis generic viagra fedex cialis 10mg cost prednisone dosing in ra cialis generico venezuela map prednisone and infertility in men bethlehem indiana accutane appellate court purchase diflucan over counter viagra dissolves in dmso zoloft 50 mg bipolar acheter cialis sur internet girl viagra problem in urdu kuwait over the counter viagra ciprofloxacin 500 mg bioequivalence comprar viagra generico forocoches best time of day to take cialis is morning or night can 50mg of clomid cause twins is sildenafil available in canada what can be used in place of cialis sildenafil generic date viagra price 25mg walmart cialis how long before intercourse can i double dose of cialis doxycycline in lactating mothers non generic viagra canada 5mg generic cialis without prescription novo sildenafil kaufen haus 2 doses only of diflucan in treating breast infection como comprar viagra farmacia online active ingredient in zovirax risco de usar viagra vs cialis lilly icos cialis 20mg i took two cialis pills in a day directions for taking 100mg viagra usda generic viagra viagra generic cheapest low price can take viagra through airport indian women viagra names cialis in windsor ontario best face wash for accutane users what is generic name of viagra 250 mg ciprofloxacin hcl clomid pregnancy symptoms sildenafil hormosan 100 mg filmtabletten over the counter cream like zovirax bruno generic viagra viagra in uk paypal nombre generico del viagra en argentina ahora how to taper off 2.5 mg prednisone is it legal to buy nolvadex online uk viagra probepackung bestellen effect of ciprofloxacin in yasmin contraceptive getting pregnant after 40 clomid revatio cost comparison viagra sildenafil 100 mg en mujeres viagra online be recepto dapril 10 mg prednisone doxycycline 50 mg tablet prednisone uses in infants top 10 metformin brands in india finasteride 5 mg para que sirve finasteride walmart precrition cialis super active 20 mg reviews mg in viagra counterfit ncialis cl eveland viagra prices viagra farmacia similares how strong is 20mg of cialis compared to 100 mg viagra cialis drug testing in military propecia tablets uk excessive urination with prednisone in humans 250 mg ciprofloxacin twice a day for 3 days comprare viagra a roma generic vega cream sildenafil prix propecia pharmacie toulouse viagra doses mg ampicillin products monographs canadian nolvadex 20 mg wikipedia deutsch si puo comprare il cialis senza ricetta viagra kaufen biz ampicillin 500mg injection viagra price change effect of clomid 50mg viagra pills to buy made in china viagra is viagra prescription in australia ratiopharm cialis generika buy zovirax crema when to take accutane requiere receta para comprar cialis does finasteride 5 mg make your hair grow back cost of iui with clomid and injectables cipro discount sildenafil from canada certified pharrmacies can i take doxycycline for bv pastillas cytotec como se usan los palillos sildenafil teva 100 mg prijs stookolie viagra over the counter us buy cialis in belgium obtaining nolvadex legally in united states can doxycycline be taken for a sinus infection zovirax 800 mg prijs how to buy viagra over the counter does viagra work well ciprofloxacina 500 mg otitis can accutane cause gyno side effect of zoloft in teens parafina para manos donde comprar viagra viagra for sale in canda no prescription tadalafil by aurochem reviews how long accutane stays in system vitamin b12 deficiency in metformin what is cialis professional what is the best for dry skin from prednisone hct dexcel 25 mg wirkung viagra ciprofloxacino 500 mg para que se usa tafirol ac 500mg 50 mg zoloft what size mg viagra do i need comprar priligy en peru daily low dose viagra genuine viagra wholesalers where to buy cialis manila buying viagra over counter in houston hemangioma in infants propranolol hydrochloride how many mg for viagra generique viagra prix du cialis generico feminino masteron nolotil caverject nolvadex omnadren how old do you have to be to buy zithromax best time in day to take clomid prednisone generic manufacturers of sertraline viagra tablets prices in pakisran zoloft pfizer 100 mg diflucan vendita online can you take half a viagra viagra modify discount viagra prednisolone soluble tablets buy 5 cytotec abortion pill online come comprare cialis sicuro 3 month course of accutane cost viagra 100mg price in pakistan of anti ornicure doxycycline 260 mg quinine 10mg cialis vs 20 mg cialis jaguar e type webasto for sale in uk zithromax where to get propecia in uk price pills viagra what is clomid for pregnancy northern ireland buy doxycycline 2 weeks viagra over counter in tesco when to take tadalafil liquid er viagra receptpligtig i usa prix cytotec 200 mg cipro 500 mg instructions buy prednisolone liquid accutane causes fibromyalgia can you take cialis after eating i need to buy 120 mg of viagra purchase cialis without prescription viagra discount generic ciprofloxacin 250 mg ratiopharm arena generic propecia finasteride india 5mg viagra compare prices no questions propecia 1mg pills prednisolone teva 20 mg posologie metronidazole is zoloft in the same family as paxil constant use of viagra 75 to 100 mg zoloft is metformin safe to take long term what time do you take cialis ordered accutane online how many mg of doxycycline for acne much mg propecia take transdermal delivery of metformin why india can manufacture cialis generic cialis pricing and usa pediatric eye specialist in tucson az doxycycline treats lyme disease buy viagra over counter minium age uk medco cialis prices london drugs cost of viagra pill nausea after stopping accutane how to use doxycycline for uti viagra throught paypall zoloft reviews ptsd can i take motrin with viagra nike air relentless 2 womens reviews on cialis liquid viagra in delhi zoloft early pregnancy sildenafil dapoxetine tablets india is there a lot to lot difference in cialis is it safe to take cialis without ed buying clomid on internet 100mg sildenafil tablets how many mg in a viagra pill how to take cialis 5 mg clomid rezeptfrei bestellen retina specialist in houston tx genericos del viagra en mexico pill metformin hcl 500 mg how much clomid to take in pct doxycycline 40 mg tablet cheapest cialis 20mg 4 can i buy viagra with paypal or billme lator doxycycline malaria cheap viagra buy shops where can i get propecia in uk find cialis in hong kong buy clomid tablets onlinw nolvadex online bodybuilding store generic viagra pills review success of clomid how cialis dissolves in water cialis 10mg oder 20mg ciprofloxacin 500 mg for cellulitis viagra in pakistan is available in lahore identify fake viagra viagra oral strips what mg do they come in donde puedo comprar finasteride en mexico diflucan 200 mg for thrush accutane results in 2 weeks where can i buy viagra over the counter manila is two 50mg viagra same as one 100 mg viagra active ingredient unprescribed clomid sale purchase nolvadex guercmorteo cipro xr para que se usa priligy in malaysia dealer for mazda price of 100mg viagra at walgreens propecia reviews percentage of hair growth hypace 10 mg prednisone doc 123 cialis canada historic price sildenafil health and care online viagra 100mg of clomid vs 50mg of clomid cipro xr 500 mg sold in dubai is zithromax 2g safe canni take two cialis 20 mg viagra suppliers with a canadian address how far in advance do i take cialis claas dominator 68s for sale in uk zithromax deltasone in second trimester in pregnancy indian pharmacies manufacturers cialis zithromax antibiotico in gravidanza si doxycycline to treat eye infection brand viagra 100mg 48pill medicamento bioequivalence vs generico de cialis doxycycline tablets reviews best fake viagra other how to use viagra for best results best time day metformin best viagra australia propecia available in india viagra color vision why should you take prednisone in the morning prix viagra en belgique viagra price in walmart viagra timing tablet zovirax pills for cold sores reviews on hydroxycut where to buy cialis in spain ciprofloxacina gp 500 mg clomid price in nigeria conflict donde comprar finasteride en madrid viagra alternatives that work in melbourne online medication cialis cipro xr 1g tablets best sildenafil 20mg prices in england comprar viagra rosa pijn in onderbuik na clomid harga viagra 50mg clomid review viagra india pill dapoxetine 60 mg india cialis trial free cialis erfahrungen 5mg dose of doxycycline in pid generic drug names for zoloft generic name viagra online fedx delivery best to take cialis continuous usage of viagra clomid buy paypal ciprofloxacin over the counter equivalent propranolol xl dosage tesco viagra pharmacy buy zeneca nolvadex online viagra sales uk best rated generic viagra alga chlorella donde comprar viagra allocare finasteride generic what is the difference between 5mg cialis and 20 mg where i buy viagra in kuala lumpur tarif cialis 5mg pharmacie jabon de coyol donde comprar viagra the viagra prank in pakistan can you take viagra and advil viagra in chemists sildenafil doc generici srl does generic cialis work as well as name brand buy clomid eu size and price of cialis online prescriptions generic viagra average cost of cialis 5mg stendra compared to viagra reviews generic viagra soft tabs uk pulmonary hypertension sildenafil dosage chances of getting pregnant with pcos on clomid best ed pill over counter with sildenafil viagra safety generic red bull with viagra cost of 500 100mg doxycycline hyclate how long should i use doxycycline for acne Kiwipolitico » Blog Archive » “What a great day for humanity” would probably have done the trick

“What a great day for humanity” would probably have done the trick

datePosted on 21:25, May 10th, 2012 by Lew

Today the President of the United States of America came out (if that’s the right term) in support of gay marriage. Hours later, The leader of the New Zealand Labour party did likewise. The responses they got could hardly have been more different. Obama’s statement was greeted with a worldwide ripple of excitement; Shearer’s with a localised wave of criticism. Aside from the obvious difference in scale, we can make some sense of the difference in valence by looking at two main factors: the content of their respective messages in political context; and the media and moment in which they were made.

Substance and political context

Allowing for the differences in political context, Obama’s and Shearer’s statements were reasonably similar. Both expressed support for gay marriage in principle, with reservations about implementation. In Obama’s case, the reservations were constitutional. The President can’t unilaterally pass an act permitting gay marriage; it has to go through two federal houses and most aspects of marriage are still, ultimately, determined by the states. Obama’s statement was symbolic and aspirational. First of all, it was a means of defining who he is, politically — a rebuttal of suggestions that he is timid or not liberal enough, and a means of illustrating a sharp distinction between his administration and the caricatured culture-war conservatism of his Republican opponents. It was also an opportunity to reinvigorate the American political left. David Frum said it well:

The statement changes everything because it galvanizes flagging liberal enthusiasm for this president—while subtly corroding even further the Republican hold on the next generation of voters.

(You should read Frum’s whole piece, it’s short and articulates clearly why this was a strategic coup.)

Shearer’s statement was, if anything, less equivocal than Obama’s; he merely said that he “would like to see the detail of any legislation before giving formal support”. In purely rational terms, that’s totally reasonable; nobody signs a blank political cheque. Much of the criticism has centred on the assumption that any such law would be introduced by Labour, so Shearer would not only get to see it but would get to vet it before declaring support. This isn’t really so; Labour are in opposition, and barring extreme exigencies they will be for at least 2.5 years to come. Given the Greens’ long-standing commitment to gay marriage and remarkable success in the member’s ballot, there’s a better-than-even chance that a hypothetical same-sex marriage bill drawn at random would be theirs.* There are plenty of potential pitfalls in such a bill, if badly drafted, and it is reasonable to hold reservations.

Other criticism of Shearer has centred on the argument that Obama’s political context is much more hostile to gay marriage, and his declaring in favour of it constitutes a genuine act of political bravery, while it’s a rather less contentious issue here. Also not entirely fair; of course, that difference in political context exists, but Obama is in power, and (largely due to Republican infighting) in political ascendancy, while Shearer is in opposition and in the doldrums. It is also very unlikely that any gay marriage bill would pass the current NZ Parliament, especially now that social-conservatives like NZ First are back in.

So on the merits, criticism of Shearer for appending this seemingly-innocuous qualifier seems a bit unfair. But there are two better explanations for hostility: first, he misread his medium; and more importantly, he misread the moment.

The medium and the moment

Obama made his statement in a medium and situation that afforded him considerable control over how his message would be transmitted and received, and that enabled him to articulate his position both from a personal perspective and politically. Good Morning America was a sympathetic venue; morning TV is warm and nonconfrontational, on the ABC network even more so than usual. It is not strictly time-controlled and interviewers generally do not play hardball. Its audience is more liberal, more female, and more inclined to respond favourably to expressions of personal warmth and reflection such as this one.

Shearer chose Twitter to make his announcement — the most constrained medium possible, one that permits no contextualisation, no emotional or personal connection. Given his performance to date as leader of the opposition, and the NZ Twitter left’s activist bias, it’s probably also one of the more hostile media open to him. It’s not talkback, but in some ways it’s worse: a lot of people who really want to like you, but are already frustrated and disappointed and are beginning to despair can be a harsher audience than your outright enemies. Twitter also means that you are expected to be spare and to the point, and to only include detail that is significant. By hedging, he signalled that his position was not firm or genuine. The medium is the message, so the inclusion of an obvious redundancy like “need to see the detail” when characters are so limited doesn’t look like understandable prudence, it looks like fuzzy-headed waffly-thinking at best, or political cowardice at worst. David Shearer mistook a platform for slick, aspirational one-liners as the venue for earnest political positioning.

And that leads to the most crucial point of all: Shearer misread the political moment. Obama’s declaration in personal, philosophical terms of his “evolution” from someone who did not support gay marriage to someone who does was a watershed moment, a genuinely epochal event: when the President of the United States of America supports your cause, all of a sudden it looks a lot more like happening. A loud shot was fired in the culture wars; it instantly became global news, and with the news came a wave of liberal euphoria. This was, as Russell Brown noted, the best possible moment to note Labour’s progressive history and rededicate to the goal of marriage equality, but it was not a time for wonkish quibbling about details, or careful delineation of party policy. The moment was one of joy, of celebration, of possibility — of hope and change — and any response had to be congruent with that. Shearer’s wasn’t. The contrast jarred, and made the other, lesser, deficiencies in the message and its presentation more evident.

Substance, context, medium and moment. You can’t really afford to be without any of these, but if you’re trying to catch a wave of public sentiment, you really have to get your moment right.

This is symptomatic of Labour’s ongoing failure to articulate its vision: a lack of mastery of the tools and techniques at their disposal. Shearer’s lack of authenticity and his inability to speak clearly and unequivocally from his own position, that I touched on in my last post on this topic, was depressingly evident in this episode, and it may be that he’s still being tightly managed. A more concerning possibility is that this is the real David Shearer: lacking in virtù, like his predecessor.

But despite everything, I think this was a good experience for Labour — hopefully it has demonstrated to them that sometimes being timid is worse than being silent. If “go hard or go home” is the only lesson they take from today, it will have been worth it.

L

* Hypothetical, because none are in the ballot at present, though I expect that to change soon. Idiot/Savant drafted one some years ago, and it would not be an hour’s work to get it in.

20 Responses to ““What a great day for humanity” would probably have done the trick”

  1. Scott Anderson on May 10th, 2012 at 21:47

    It was a sad little episode, wasn’t it? All Shearer needed to do, if he or his people felt the need to grab a piece of Obama’s shine, was to simply tweet “I support marriage equality.”

    The equivocation, the needing to ‘see the legislation’, didn’t need to be there – if the politics needed to be played, then the time would’ve been when Labour was in government, or if a bill were to be drawn. But by putting the mealy-mouthed politicing up front, Shearer’s showing himself to be just another politician who’ll abandon principles in favour of politics, which is never going to go over well with twitter’s leftists.

    Even three hours later when he felt the need to ‘clarify’ his statement, he still had to add a modifier, the he ‘personally’ supported marriage equality. That ‘p’ word didn’t have to be there, no matter what audience he was intending the modifier to mollycoddle (Chris Trotter?)

  2. Chris Miller on May 10th, 2012 at 22:02

    I’m a little concerned that he feels the need to assure us he’d have to look at the wording of the legislation. Does he not do that for other legislation? Does he just vote for things based on the title, maybe?

    (Tongue in cheek here, mostly.)

  3. Lew on May 10th, 2012 at 22:08

    Chris, crueller people than me will no doubt point to this episode of a couple of months ago as evidence toward that conclusion.

    L

  4. Chris Miller on May 10th, 2012 at 22:09

    I believe an “oh snap!” is in order. :)

  5. Chris Trotter on May 11th, 2012 at 08:40

    Just so you know, Scott, I am an unequivocal supporter of gay marriage. Lew’s analysis of this incident mirrors my own. The only observation I would add is that with Grant Robertson clearly positioning himself for a tilt at the Labour leadership, I would have thought the political costs of equivocation on this issue would have been even clearer to Shearer.

  6. sammy 2.0 on May 11th, 2012 at 11:45

    Pretty much nail on head, Lew.

    It’s becoming a familiar feeling, where I shout at the radio/TV/computer … “David, do you really not know how this business works?”

    The answer is that he doesn’t, which is not surprising for a novice, but much worse, he’s taking advice from people who think they DO know, the people who got it consistently wrong for the last three years.

    What’s next? “I do support gay marriage, but don’t get me wrong, I really want to do Liz Hurley.”

  7. QoT on May 11th, 2012 at 15:24

    This presents an interesting question in light of my own theory about Shearer’s Twitter account. Did the equivocation come from the man himself, or the policybot? Either way, I think all your points are pretty much on the money, Lew. That was a bloody shambolic way to try and win a point.

  8. Lew on May 11th, 2012 at 16:18

    Q, yeah, I wondered about this as well. Since it’s unknowable (short of asking, and believing, Shearer or his office) I generally fall back on simulacra theory. As long as we are given to believe that @DavidShearerMP is in fact David Shearer, MP, it doesn’t much matter whether it is or not — the latter can be held to the utterances of the former, regardless.

    L

  9. Russell Brown on May 11th, 2012 at 16:28

    Nicely argued, Lew.

    I think the political atmosphere that has developed around Shearer was significant. The activist left is pretty much sitting around waiting to be pissed off with any position Shearer takes, or doesn’t quite take, or whatever.

    There was also, of course, a Left contingent on Twitter slamming him for going out on a “niche” issue that didn’t really matter and supposedly playing into National’s hands. I actually felt sorry for the poor bastard.

    The really fascinating thing is the subsequent muted response today to Key’s risible statement to an AP reporter (where was our own Gallery yesterday?) about having nothing against marriage equality — off the back of a series of ludicrous evasions on the same topic.

  10. Chris Miller on May 11th, 2012 at 16:35

    I know personally I didn’t do any major reaction to Key’s comment because it’s just too exhausting. I wrote an email through marriageequality.co.nz or whatever the site was but I have other things to talk and write about and Key’s position hasn’t really changed from more of the same heming and hawing he always does. I’ve said what I have to say on the issue, I’ve done an email to him, I’ve done an email to my local MP to confirm her position (she voted for Civil Unions and against the Marriage (Gender Clarification) Amendment so I’m 99.5% sure she’s for marriage equality), so I can’t really be bothered doing another big thing about John Key still being a tool.

    Though I actually think there has been a response from other people. I’ve seen quite a lot of talk about his “no clamour” line.

  11. Sacha on May 11th, 2012 at 16:38

    My own despair was over the timing of this, following boatpeople and welfare mums as obviously engineered distractions from the government’s woeful economic management (including a massive revenue hole) just before a crucial Budget.

    A simple and direct statement of Shearer’s support would have attracted praise and little fuss. This could be followed up by a more full discussion after the Budget.

    It’s great for broader progressive movements to constantly champion significant social causes like this. We need that. However, a broad party of the left ought to know that other concerns like jobs, education and health are their core job to address right now. Political allies can also bring focus to a range of other topics.

    I’d like to be optimistic that they’re improving, but it still seems that whoever is doing Labour’s comms/strategy needs to be taken behind the nearest shed and put out of our misery. That is not Shearer, and the naive focus on frontpeople frustrates me.

  12. Russell Brown on May 11th, 2012 at 16:48

    As to whether the calamitously cautious note came from Shearer or his advisory panel …

    My guess is that were he still merely the MP for Mt Albert (a job at which I think he was very good), Shearer would have said something less equivocal — but only if he was asked.

  13. Craig Ranapia on May 11th, 2012 at 16:49

    “The equivocation, the needing to ‘see the legislation’, didn’t need to be there.”

    No it didn’t — perhaps I’m an old-fashioned kind of gal, but I kind of expect MPs to at least glance at legislation before they vote on it.

    Anyway, it’s kind of embarrasing reading this in The Netherlands — where marriage equality has been a reality for eleven years without undue trauma.

  14. Russell Brown on May 11th, 2012 at 16:51

    Though I actually think there has been a response from other people. I’ve seen quite a lot of talk about his “no clamour” line.

    True. But the tone is different to that visited on Shearer.

  15. QoT on May 11th, 2012 at 16:53

    Lew – completely agree on it not mattering in terms of holding Shearer to what his Twitter account says. The reason I’m interested is down to what a lot of people have been saying about Shearer, and said about Goff in turn – that he is actually passionate, charismatic, forceful, but the public [generated?] image doesn’t match up, to his detriment.

    (This may be a double post as my computer is throwing a tizzy, so apologies!)

  16. Russell Brown on May 11th, 2012 at 17:16

    what a lot of people have been saying about Shearer, and said about Goff in turn – that he is actually passionate, charismatic, forceful, but the public [generated?] image doesn’t match up, to his detriment.

    He’s my local MP and I met him a couple of times in that context. He didn’t strike me as charismatic or forceful. But decent, sincere and thoughtful, yes. His problem may indeed be a hopeless lack of guile.

  17. Lew on May 11th, 2012 at 19:04

    Sacha,

    My own despair was over the timing of this, following boatpeople and welfare mums as obviously engineered distractions from the government’s woeful economic management (including a massive revenue hole) just before a crucial Budget … It’s great for broader progressive movements to constantly champion significant social causes like this. We need that. However, a broad party of the left ought to know that other concerns like jobs, education and health are their core job to address right now.

    See, this looks an awful lot like the whole “what really matters” argument customarily deployed to sideline women, Māori and — in this case — teh gays.

    But even that aside, I think this analysis is wrong for two main reasons. First, Labour has dedicated relatively little time or space to any of the three issues you cite; most of the air has been granted them by the media, or by other players like Colin Craig. Some of this, as in the case in point, has been due to poor management by Labour, so fair cop for that. But that’s not true of the boatpeople or welfare reform topics. Second, only the boatpeople topic is a genuine distraction. The marriage equality topic was, as I’ve argued, a one-time opportunity. It had to be now or never. The welfare reforms, and especially the beneficiary-contraception policy, actually is a core issue for the opposition, and actually is a budget issue. So they would be lax if they hadn’t discussed it, and despite what John Armstrong thinks, I think there’s a good argument that they have been too timid.

    L

  18. Sacha on May 11th, 2012 at 19:25

    What really matters *in the 3 weeks leading up to a Budget*.

    The announced beneficiary contraception policy is budgeted at $1m.

    If you’re right that these are winning issues for Labour and supporters to invest energy in, then I guess we’ll all see a dramatic uptick in their polling.

  19. Lew on May 11th, 2012 at 20:43

    My argument is not as linear as “push buttons -> poll numbers rise”.

    L

  20. […] was sparked by Barack Obama’s “coming out” a few months ago (I wrote about this here.) It has been a bipartisan project; groups and people from across the spectrum worked together. As […]

Leave a Reply

Name: (required)
Email: (required) (will not be published)
Website:
Comment: